Understanding the Connection between Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

The body is an incredible and complex being, and scientists have come to understand just how interrelated the body’s different functions really are. No illness or condition exists in solitary confinement within the body; each problem has the potential to create other health issues in an unwanted and often rapid domino effect. This pattern is especially prevalent when looking at the connection between diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

According to the American Heart Association, at least 68 percent of people age 65 or older with diabetes ultimately die from a form of heart disease. That’s nearly three-quarters of all older Americans with diabetes, which is a rate two to four times higher than among adults without diabetes. Based on this strong correlation, the AHA has officially deemed diabetes to be one of the seven major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Type 2 Diabetes Accelerates Cardiovascular Risk Factors

It’s not a mystery why this blatant link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease exists. First, studies have uncovered a positive association between hypertension and the insulin resistance found in type 2 diabetics. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which means that diabetes can worsen the problem. Furthermore, it’s common for patients with diabetes to have unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which often trigger premature coronary heart disease. Finally, obesity and lack of physical activity are both major risk factors for insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.

What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?

If you do have diabetes, you aren’t powerless to protect yourself from cardiovascular disease and minimize your chances of a heart attack or stroke. Simple yet powerful actions like quitting smoking, eating more fiber, exercising each day, limiting your intake of trans fat, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars, and committing yourself to weight loss can all minimize your risk factors.

Of course, no preventative measures are complete without the help of a cardiovascular specialist like the doctors at Manatee Cardiovascular Wellness Institute in Bradenton, Florida. The team at Manatee is committed to helping patients improve their wellness with state-of-the-art medical technologies. Call (941) 774-1200 to make your appointment now!

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